A story of determination – Exams and illness

June 17, 2012


It was bang in the middle of the exam period and I had been revising non stop, each person has their tactics and as for mine I would normally revise in the University library between the hours of 8am to 6:30pm. I remember the morning struggle for the same seat in the corner of the silent study room on the second floor, despite the library being a vast one, one tends to find comfort in the same seating area that they use daily.  I use the term ‘silent bestfriends’ to refer to those individuals that I would daily see in the silent study room, you never once speak to them for the period of about a month and a half but by the end of your revision period you have some sort of attachment to them. So I remember on my last day of revision I sent my good lucks to those around me and seeing their baffled faces as I had never spoken to them before.

Indeed student exam times are of those times that will forever remain with you whilst they are tough and stressful they are also insanely enjoyable. The change to your daily routine, the red bulls and the revision breaks were all part of the ‘fun’ side to exams.

I wish to touch upon a unique situation that I found myself in during my second year of University.  The exams had been tough and during the exam period I suddenly developed severe tonsilitis which quite badly affected my revision. About 2 days in I then found my eyes to turn completely red, a condition that I had never suffered from before and so with some simple researching on the internet I found that this was apparently due to the stress suffered from exams.

I had one more exam left and despite the drowsiness and heavy feeling I managed to get myself into university. As I was entering the exam hall my teacher noticed that I did not look too well and advised that I do not take the exam. I replied with the following “Don’t worry I think I am ok and should be able to complete the exam” . 10 minutes into the exam I felt very dizzy and unable to concentrate I kept looking around and then looked at the clock and decided that I simply could not continue, after signaling to the invigilator I was then taken to my department reception where I needed to inform them of my condition.

At the reception I asked whether or not I could retake the exam later in the summer, they promptly replied that it was not possible and that I would need to retake it the following year. This really gone me down but there was no way I could take the exams in my condition so I picked up the retake form and proceeded to walk to the bus stop home. It was raining and seemed like a dull day, I called my mother and informed her of the situation and typically she was not happy and as Arab parents do, started blaming every possible reason as to why I was in this situation. ‘Up online till late hours’, ‘going out too much’ to name a few.

Anyhow I did not find much comfort from the phone call so I looked up towards the sky and stood there letting the rain fall upon my face. Reminiscing this moment is where I really think that rain is a blessing on man because there and then  I felt a surge of energy and renewed willingness to do the exam. I rushed back to the reception area and asked if I could do the exam alone in a separate room. They agreed however did not agree to allow for the missed time and so instead of 2 hours I had just over an hour to complete the exam. In a hurry I opened the exam paper and calmed myself down, I completed most the questions and by the end felt very content that I had at least given my entire effort towards the exam.

I mention this story as motivation not only to myself but to anyone reading because with sheer determination one can achieve anything.  In the end I was lucky enough to come out with a B grade and saved myself from repeating an entire module, for me that B held more weight and appreciation than all other results put together. Not because I didn’t have to repeat it but rather due to the knowing that I gave it my full shot and dedication.

I guess the moral of this blog is that with any difficulty one faces always remain steadfast and stick to the aims and objectives, I shall end with a Chinese proverb that relates to the moral

  • Literally: You must persevere to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.
  • Moral: Everything can be done with enough perseverance.
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About mohamedridha

Network Systems Engineer with focus on Wireless LAN Infrastructure and Security. Interests in Middle East

View all posts by mohamedridha


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